Do I need to apply for ILR before Naturalisation

  • Hi,

    I am British national by birth, my wife has Italian passport. We have been married since 2008 and always lived in UK.
    She has been in UK since 2005, working before we met and got married.
    We have 2 children since being married, both born in UK and British passports.
    Does she need to apply for ILR before applying for Naturalisation, I don't want to waste the fee of applying for Naturalisation.
    If so which way ? As an EEA national via work is difficult as hasn't always worked continuously for 5 years, since we started family after being married. Or is there another way to apply for ILR on basis of being married.
    She has passed English test, but not sat Life in UK test yet.

    Any help appreciated.


  • Immigration Adviser

    Dear @RAH007

    Your wife must apply for permanent residence before she can apply for citizenship. To be eligible for permanent residence your wife must have been a qualified person for a continuous 5 year period.

    A qualified person is a person who is:

    Self-sufficient or looking for work

    As per your question, it is worth noting that for any period your wife was studying or self-sufficient then she must have held comprehensive health insurance to cover this period. However, this is not needed for any period of time that she was employed.

    As your wife has been in the UK since 2005, if she has remained a qualified person for a 6 year period, the extra year beyond the 5 year qualifying period for permanent residence would mean that once she has permanent residence she would immediately be able to apply for citizenship, rather than wait 12 months.

    Please let me know if you have any further questions on this.

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